3 insightful ways to master the art of storytelling

26.04.19 storytelling

What is storytelling and how can one use it to their advantage in the world of PR? Whether in a business setting or otherwise, there are many advantages tied to storytelling. Incorporating these skills into your work can help you create an unforgettable PR campaign and act as the cherry on top. It is the art through which we exhibit our life and personal experiences to others, with a specified moral or lesson to be understood. However, a perfectly formed story does not manifest itself overnight.

Alongside creativity and imagination, there is a certain process one must follow. It takes practice, time and effort to create a story worthwhile and effective. Giving yourself time to craft a masterpiece is a lesson worth learning. It is not solely reserved for those certain creative members of society. Anyone can acquire the skills it takes to form and tell a good story, though it may seem daunting at first. That is why we have compiled three main methods we believe will help you take the plunge into storytelling and set you on the path towards becoming a Jedi storyteller.

Know and engage your audience

Storytelling is a good medium often chosen to inspire and engage. It offers you the ability to spread your message and be heard by wider audiences while providing actionable takeaways for your audience. However, succeeding is not always as easy as it seems. The only way to get PR exposure through story-telling is understanding and engaging with your target audience. They should remain at the forefront of your mind. Ask yourself whether your content is interesting or not. Will it engage and inspire? Will it help people recognise and reframe their limiting beliefs? Including questions will engage your listeners and produce good results as well as inspire and empower your audience, increasing your likability among others. Supporting your story with images and videos will paint a picture for your audience and engage them even further as most people are visual learners. It is crucial to keep your story relevant to not only the audience but to the overall moral. While looking to engage your audience you must include relatable content in your work. Do not forget, telling a story is just like bringing your audience on a guided tour, you know the destination and it is up to you to bring the audience there.

Establishing a tone before you begin comes first and foremost. Before engaging with your audience, you must analyse them. Consider what particular aspects will resonate with the type of people you’re dealing with. What will achieve good results and keep them interested? You want them to care and empathise with the story you’re telling while the reason for its telling is still clear and understood. Providing the audience with sufficient detail is crucial for their understanding and clarity on the subject. Portraying each story in a way that will resonate with each listener and keep them on their toes is a successful storytelling technique used by many thriving entrepreneurs. You must value the listener and their time to maintain a mutually loyal relationship. Keep in mind that stories strongly influence the way in which we choose to see the world and interact with people around us. If applied correctly, it can be used to bring people together, increase your PR network, build and share knowledge as well as develop communal trust.


The moral of the story

Each and every story has a message, a purpose, a meaning, which needs to be clearly visible and understood by the end. This particular focus is the story’s intention and holds within it a desired outcome and reaction from its listeners. Before writing, you must ask yourself, what is my intended message? What am I writing about? Narrow down what your message is and what you want your audience to take from your story. Telling your tale in an authentic way while being discerning and selective in what you include will lead to the formation of a strong, solution-focused story. Not only do you want to impact lives with your words but transform your own PR campaign. Be creative and engaging in order to entertain your listeners but ensure your content is relevant when conveying your message.

It is important to be present and active throughout the telling of your story as it will enhance the engagement of the audience. Keeping them alert to your story will release certain endorphins which increase long-term learning retention. When a listener fully engages themselves in a story, they begin to assume the role of its protagonist. In turn, this increases their relation to the experiences as they find themselves in the described situation. Ensuring the audience has closure at the end of the story is crucial. That they can pinpoint the lesson learned without hesitation or any unanswered questions hanging in the air.


Be honest

Honesty is a must have when reciting a story hoping to connect and resonate with your audience. Human interaction and personal experience speak a thousand times louder than any article, especially when told honestly. Providing your audience with context and creating images will go a long way in capturing their attention while engrossing them in your story. Having the confidence to tell your story and nobody else’s will sustain the audience’s attention, receive their respect as well as provide a clear motivated desire to help others. Expression and excitement come hand in hand with honesty and can engage your listeners from the beginning, holding their focus throughout. Adding comedic, emotional or inspiring elements is a tactic that will make your story-telling a more immersive experience for everyone involved. Being honest creates a meaningful connection between you and your listeners. Providing them with a positive, thought-provoking experience that acts as a powerful strategy used in building personal relationships with clients and potential clients. It even offers the possibility of triggering personal breakthroughs or epiphanies for those listening. You serve as a voice for those who share your experiences and emotions which in turn develop a good rapport and likability for you and your work.

Story-telling can have a great effect on people’s lives and how they live them and if done correctly can scale massive growth for you and your PR pursuits. Mastering this art can work wonders for your PR campaign, serving as a powerful marketing strategy. Keeping in mind that experimenting and failing is all part of the process to bring you to your desired destination. Practice and feedback should be welcomed when analysing areas of your story that need adjusting. Both in the business world and life, your success is linked to your ability to create and hold connections with people and build trust. Aim to inspire and your story will not fall short of the mark.

You know how to craft the perfect story but how do you send it out to the right people? MediaHQ is a database of media contacts which features over 6,000 journalists. We’ve shared over 198,796 stories from Ireland’s best brands. Click here or call Gaye on (01) 2541845 to find out more.